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Developing DestiniesA Mayan Midwife and Town$
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Barbara Rogoff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195319903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319903.001.0001

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Childhood and where babies come from

Childhood and where babies come from

Chapter:
(p.106) 6 Childhood and where babies come from
Source:
Developing Destinies
Author(s):

Barbara Rogoff (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319903.003.0066

In Chona's childhood in the 1930s, children were protected from learning where babies come from. Although she knew her work would be like that of her great-aunt, as a child Chona was not told what that work involved. Reference to pregnancy, birth, menstruation, and sexual intercourse were avoided around children and young adults. Young women found out about these topics when they first experienced them. In recent decades, children have learned of them much earlier—in biology classes, from older children, and with more openness of adults. Chona has contributed to the change, as she tells pregnant young women about pregnancy and childbirth so they will know what is going on. In her childhood, Chona learned about these taboo topics through dreams that she thought were bizarre, such as one in which she was aiding in a birth, coached by a woman in a glowing white robe.

Keywords:   taboos, menstruation, intercourse, pregnancy, birth, dreams

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